When Light Leads to Darkness
Can “more light” lead to darkness?
Light a candle in the centre of a dark room and your vision will be as clear as possible. The light won’t do you any harm and will help you see the room as a whole.
Now focus only on the candle and gradually approach it. Your overall view will be affected. The room is getting smaller and smaller.
You have almost reached the centre of the room. Gaze at the candlelight without blinking. Now make your way back to the ends of the room. The light is still in the centre and illuminates the room. But does the light still help you see the room like in the beginning?
More than likely because of your fascination with the light and your desire to be far too close to it, to Know it, your vision is clouded. Now you realize that if you had merged with the light, the blindness could have been permanent, and you would have lived your whole life in darkness.
From the moment we enter Freemasonry we are told that we must always remain Apprentices. Not Fellowcrafts, not Masters, not Secret Masters, Perfect Masters, or any of the rest of the “higher” Degrees. Nor “eternal” Worshipful Masters, Grand Officers or Grand Dignitaries of the Grand Lodge.
But the Apprentice is the Rough Ashlar, right? How can we be “eternal Apprentices” when we must become Perfect or Cubic Ashlars, receiving as much “Light” or knowledge as possible? Isn’t that the opposite of what Freemasonry teaches us?
For most Freemasons yes, for those who understood Freemasonry, definitely not.
What is an Apprentice and what is a Master? I explained in a previous article (Memento Mori – Reflections upon death in the First and the Third Degree ) some of what it means to be an “eternal Apprentice” in terms of the life-death-life cycle. And why being an “eternal Master” is not a solution. But did those who read it understand it?
The Apprentice is that member of a Masonic Lodge whose experience is based on Understanding. He is the youngest. The Apprentice has received a part of the light but he does not know it. He has the role of understanding it. And he understands by hearing, seeing and… being silent.
The Master is one whose experience is based on Knowledge. He is the oldest of all and has received the full light… He “sees”, “hears” and is no longer silent. He “understood” the light…
But isn’t the Master the Apprentice who grew up and hastened to understand? And thinking he understood he didn’t really understand anything? Isn’t it the Master the one who, being fascinated by the light, wanted to know it, not to understand it? The one who merged with it and now lives his whole life in darkness, imagining that he is “enlightened”?
What exactly is this blinding Light and this Cubic Ashlar or “the stone that the builders rejected”?
And most importantly: why did they reject it? Because it probably should have been rejected, dare I say.
Isn’t this “Perfect” Ashlar our very Ego? And what is the Ego but the adversary?
Of course, for “Master Masons” who have not understood anything, the Ego or the adversary can turn into a saviour. Isn’t it written in the Volume of The Sacred Law that the adversary “can disguise himself as an angel of light”?
Remember who you saw in the mirror on the day of your initiation and who is the adversary or false light against whom you must fight.
Only then will you be able to understand later that in fact the Rough Ashlar is perfect in all its imperfections, and the Perfect Ashlar is imperfect in all of its “perfection”. Your goal is not to become a Master but to master your Understanding, always remaining an Apprentice.
Reflect on understanding and knowledge and you will realize the distance you must keep so that the light does not blind you.
Do not seek more light than you really need.
Article by: Gabriel Anghelescu
Gabriel Anghelescu is a Romanian Freemason interested in the spiritual and esoteric aspects of the Fraternity.
His passion for esotericism and Freemasonry began at an early age. His first contact with initiatory societies was the International Order of DeMolay, a para-Masonic organization for boys aged 12 to 21. He was initiated in Jacques de Molay Chapter, in Bucharest, where he later served a mandate as the Master Councillor of his Chapter.
He received the Masonic initiation in a French Rite Lodge bearing the distinctive name of Apolodor din Damasc (Apollodorus of Damascus), working under the Grand Orient of Romania and years later he joined L'Athénée des Etrangers Lodge, which works under the auspices of the United Europe Regular Grand Lodge (Marea Lojă Regulară Europa Unită), in the Orient of Bucharest.
He is now the Grand Spokesman of the United Europe Regular Grand Lodge (Romania), a Past Master of L'Athénée des Etrangers Lodge and a member of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis 1815 (Romania).
Recent Articles: by Gabriel Anghelescu
As Freemasons we could say that we have a double mission, namely building two ideal temples. Building an ideal Inner Temple, so that we can then transpose the inner construction on a larger scale and build an ideal Temple of Humanity. But can such ideal temples ever be realized, given that at first sight the word "ideal" seems to be synonymous with perfection? The answer may be both no and yes.
Embark on a thought-provoking journey into the world of Freemasonry in "When Light Leads to Darkness". Discover why remaining an eternal Apprentice is essential and how excessive light can shroud you in darkness. Unearth the hidden truths behind Freemasonry's symbols and teachings. Can too much 'knowledge' cloud 'understanding'? Read on to explore.
With a focus on "Memento Mori", explore the deep symbolism of the first and third degrees in freemasonry. Gain a unique insight into the reflections upon death and how they are intertwined with the teachings of the craft as Gabriel Anghelescu takes you on an intriguing journey of mystery and enlightenment.
Following on from last month's article "The Egyptian Rite of Memphis: Past, Present and its Relevance for Today's Freemasonry", Gabriel Anghelescu leads us on the path of the Initiate into the Chamber of Reflection and beyond.
Over time many Masonic Rites have developed, each Rite having its own history, legends, and rituals. Some of them are still practiced today, and others have ceased to exist. The best known and at the same time the most practiced Masonic Rites are the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the York Rite. Among other Masonic Rites, we can find the Rite of Memphis, to which this article is dedicated. The Rite of Memphis is a branch of Esoteric Freemasonry and specifically one of the Rites of Egyptian Freemasonry.
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